Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today's cooking projects: corned beef hash and pepper and onion marinara

Once again, I am consumed by a request from my better half. Wants Italian sausages and a marinara with peppers and onions. Today I am taking care of the sauce. Giant can of diced tomatoes in juice. Two cans of organic tomato paste. Two giant yellow onions, ½” sliced Lyonnaise-style (pole to pole). One quart of frozen roasted assorted peppers, ½” slices. Five cups of diced fresh bell peppers. (Why five cups? Because that’s what I need to use up!) Assorted dried Italian herbs, fresh rosemary and fresh sage. Three tablespoons of chopped garlic. Chop lots more garlic because I’m making ten pounds of sausage tomorrow, but that’s another story. I have a silicone trivet that I use to roll the garlic cloves in, takes the skin right off. Then I use a coarse Microplane to process the garlic, five minutes or so and I have a big pile of chopped garlic. Lots of fresh ground black pepper. Crushed red pepper. Saute onions in olive oil, add peppers and garlic, stir to coat, toss in everything else. Simmer all afternoon. It’s tasting good – even to me, and I have a serious dislike of, as well as an allergy to, bell peppers.

Dinner tonight will be corned beef hash. The other day I pulled the last chunk of homemade corned beef out of the freezer. I was contemplating the cooking method when I realized that the FoodSaver vacuum bag it was in would be a wonderful cooking container for a long slow trip through the oven. So I threw it in the oven at 200 degrees overnight. No muss, no fuss. Then I refrigerated it in its juices. Today I will dice up the corned beef and some red potatoes, steam the potatoes to parcook them, and then fry up the whole mess with some onions. A little horseradish on the side, some boiled turnip greens or maybe arugula, and a real comfort-food dinner for us. Guess we’ll have beer or iced tea to drink, can’t imagine the wine I’d pair with this one. I’ll keep back some of the corned beef and slice enough for a couple of Reuben sandwiches, and freeze it for another day. I will have to set aside some time to cure some more corned beef sometime. It’s been really good.

Now, I just have to figure out where to keep more than a gallon of marinara…

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